Three talking points ahead of Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Napoli in midweek was richly deserved as it followed one of the team’s best performances all season.

The Catalans were refreshing in attack and solid defensively, with Pau Cubarsi and Lamine Yamal both influencing the game in unimaginable ways.

The result against the Italians saw Barcelona advance to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2020. Unfortunately, their next match will only be a notch tougher.

Xavi’s men are now looking Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in the eye. Both teams clinched a place in the UCL last eight this week, and the results at Civitas Metropolitano will go a long way to boost morale for the rest of the campaign.

The last time the two teams met, the Catalans took three points thanks to a goal from Joao Felix. As the room plays now The Red and White favor, it remains to be seen what Xavi has in store for him.

Barça Universal brings you three topics to discuss ahead of Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona.

Reason to believe

Barcelona’s season looked set to go trophyless. With La Liga almost out of reach and the UEFA Champions League boasting much stronger contenders, the Catalans were far from any form of silverware this campaign.

The UCL draw earlier this week, however, has instilled hope in Catalonia and supporters around the world. This gives the team ever-so-high hopes of making an impression in the biggest competition of all and maybe just coming out on top.

Xavi’s team is lined up against Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of the event. Luis Enrique’s side may be the favorites, but this is one of the best draws Barcelona could have hoped for in the pool.

PSG is a slightly better-oiled unit, but not without flaws. Progressing to the semi-final is therefore far from impossible and in such a scenario, Barcelona will face Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund.

Reaching the UCL final is therefore a possibility if Barcelona manage to step up their efforts at the end of the season. Momentum, however, will be key to achieving this.

The team is in a good period after the victory against Napoli, and tomorrow’s clash against Atletico Madrid will only be more difficult.

A victory The Red and White, However, it will do the team’s confidence a world of good ahead of a demanding schedule next month.

Is it João Félix time?

A huge match awaits Joao Felix. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The mere mention of Atletico Madrid this season in Barcelona brings up the subject of Joao Felix, and rightly so.

After all, the Portuguese striker moved to Catalonia in the hopes of getting a fresh start in his career and doesn’t share a good history with The Red and White.

Felix and Simeone do not see eye to eye and, although the player is still contractually obligated to the Madrid team, he does not see himself linked to them in any capacity.

The youngster is therefore hoping to push for a move to Barcelona next summer but is yet to impress the management as his lack of consistency overshadows his quality.

A strong performance tomorrow will go a long way in not only convincing Barcelona, ​​but also boosting the player’s morale. After all, this is a personal battle of revenge for him, the one who was visible when the two teams met earlier this season.

It would therefore only be poetic for Xavi to grant Félix a start despite his bad run and hope that his determination will help the team. If it works, it can only be described as a win-win situation for all parties involved.

The international break

The clash against Diego Simeone’s side will also mark the end of the club’s current football window. The players will immediately disperse to join their respective national teams, and so there will be a feeling that the team must sign in style.

After all, Barcelona’s first five games after the break include two games against PSG and one against Real Madrid and the team needs all the momentum they can get.

At the same time, there is another link between the international break and the Barcelona clash tomorrow: the teenage internationals.

Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi were both called by Luis de La Fuente to participate in Spain’s upcoming friendly matches. While the first has already worn the red colors, this is the defender’s first call-up.

Considering how reckless international minutes have predisposed so many of Barcelona’s young talents to injury, the club’s administration is understandably worried about the two teenage stars.

Xavi could thus be tempted to limit his minutes tomorrow while they are still under his control to limit the damage. Still, there’s no denying that Cubarsi and Yamal are vital for a match against opposition like Atletico Madrid.

So it will be interesting to see how Xavi combines the two factors and balances the players’ minutes in order to extract the best from them while maintaining their fitness. A massive test awaits the manager.

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